How to measure and improve your outbound prospecting efforts
Hi! This week’s post is the result of seeing similar patterns and problems in outbound prospecting data across a dozen consulting clients over the past few months - from early to late stage, $10k to $100k ACV and whether selling into tech, finance, HR, sales or marketing departments. If you find it useful, please share!
When measuring their prospecting efforts, I’ve found most companies focus on the quantity of activities (calls, emails etc), the quantity of meetings booked and the quantity of opportunities generated. They invariably reach two conclusions:
Conversion rates are lower than desired.
The only way to make up the difference is with more activity.
This naturally leads to a focus on quantity over quality. After all, it’s easier to measure quantity than quality (50, 60, 70 calls a day!) and to implement workflow automation through tools like Outreach and Salesloft.
However, increasing activity seldom delivers the outcomes teams are looking for. Going from a 5 step sequence to a 15 step sequence is not 3x more effective. Neither is increasing the target list from 500 to 5,000.
To start improving your prospecting efforts, you need to begin by answering the following questions:
How many accounts have we identified as prospects?
How many personas have we identified per account?
How many accounts have we prospected?
How many personas have we prospected per account?
How relevant is our messaging?
How many accounts have a problem we can solve?
How many accounts are willing to explore solving their pain?
How many accounts are willing to evaluate our solution?
1. How many accounts have we identified as prospects?
The right answer is as few as possible, because the fewer accounts you focus on, the more rigorous you have to be in how you prospect them, which will make your prospecting motion more effective.
Cap the total number of accounts at 5x the size of your current customer base, or 10x the size of the largest cohesive segment within your customer base. Remember, outbound prospecting works best when directed at customers where you know you have a high likelihood of winning.
You also want to cap the number of accounts assigned to each rep at a maximum of 100, because to rigorously prospect 100 accounts with 3 key personas per account and a 10-step outreach sequence per persona will take a rep 60 business days (i.e. 12 weeks/1 quarter) if they can execute 50 steps (activities) per day.